Larkin advances with fourth win over Elgin
Beating a crosstown rival is good. Doing so in a regional game is even more special.
Larkin's girls basketball team did that by beating Elgin, 59-31, Monday in the Class 4A Streamwood regional.
The Royals advance to face Barrington Tuesday night, hoping to avenge last year's 3-point loss in regional play.
Ashley Miller led the Royals' balanced attack with 11 points while pulling down 9 rebounds. Aaliyah Dixon and Janelle Clements added 10 apiece. Baylei Johnson had 14 rebounds and 8 points, while Brianna Young and Kathy Garcia scored 7 points apiece for the Royals (11-20) who won the rebounding battle 51-20.
After falling behind 24-9 in the second quarter, the Maroons came up with a defensive surge fueled by their full-court pressure, but couldn't take advantage at the offensive end. They cut the deficit to 28-17, but Dixon banked in an off-balance shot to close the first-half scoring, and the Royals opened the second half with a 15-4 run to take control.
Young scored all of her points during that third-quarter surge and Johnson had 6 points in the period.
After committing 15 first-half turnovers and missing some layups and free throws, the Royals wanted to come out better in the second half, hoping it would carry over.
"It's just the fact that we want the momentum going into tomorrow," said Miller. "We know that we need to clean it up in order to get our rhythm down."
The Royals beat their rivals for the fourth time in the season.
"It's nice when we have the length we do against a lot of teams," said Larkin coach Steve Knapp. "Elgin doesn't have much height and we kind of used it to our advantage tonight on second-chance and third-chance opportunities. Just moving the ball downcourt a little bit was nice."
Giana Kilbert scored 20 points and Takara Campbell added 9 off the bench, but no one else could find the range for Elgin (4-27).
The Maroons ended a season that saw them play "with a lot more intensity this year," according to coach Dr. Nick Bumbales. "Gianna Kilbert had probably one of the best seasons one of our players has had in the past 10 years. She averaged 17 points a game the second half of the conference. She was an all-conference player and she represented us well."
Both teams struggled from the free-throw line, with the Royals converting just 5 of 13 attempts while Elgin made just 3 of 11.